The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC) has announced the eight seeded skippers who will compete for the 2003 Investors Guaranty presentation of the King Edward VII Gold Cup. The regatta, an ISAF Grade 1 Event, will be held October 18-26.
Topping the list of skippers is three-time America's Cup winning helmsman Russell COUTTS of the Alinghi Team, who has won the King Edward VII Gold Cup a record six times (2000, '98, '96, '93, '92, '90). Two-time champions Australian Peter GILMOUR of Team Pizza La (1997, '95) and Chris DICKSON, head of the Oracle BMW Racing Team (1989, '87), 2001 champion Peter HOLMBERG of the US Virgin Islands, American Dennis CONNER, Team New Zealand's Dean BARKER and Denmark's Jes GRAM-HANSEN of Team Colorcraft will join Denmark's Jesper RADICH, the defending champion, to challenge for one of match racing's largest prize purses.
"The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club is thrilled to have all of these skippers return to Bermuda after their hiatus for the America's Cup,"
said RBYC Commodore Les CRANE. "With the assistance of Investors Guaranty and the best skippers in the world, this year's event will be a blockbuster."
Prior to the Championship Round of the King Edward VII Gold Cup sixteen un-seeded skippers will compete in a three-day round robin qualifier. The top six skippers, as well as the top two finishers from the Bermuda Women's Match Racing Championship - held concurrently with the un-seeded round - advance to the Championship Round.
Celebrating its 55 year of drawing the world's top sailing talent and giving up-and-comers a shot at racing against the world's best, the event will offer a record $100,000 prize purse on behalf of its title sponsor Investors Guaranty. Competition for the coveted King Edward VII Gold Cup will take place on Hamilton Harbour in identically matched, event-supplied International One Design yachts.